Even in this age of instant gratification, we all want our kids to exhibit good manners, isn’t it? How many times, we would have told our kids to tell “Thank you” or “Please” or “Sorry” either verbally, or by nudging them with a poke in the shoulders or body. I still do at times. But do you think that by just saying those words, our kids are filled with Gratitude? If I have to put it in a simple format, Gratitude is just not using good manners, but it’s a mindset that we as parents have to inculcate in kids. A lot of research has been conducted worldwide to find out the benefits of having the Gratitude Mindset, which has proved that the kids who practice Gratitude are far more successful in life than compared to their peers who don’t practice it.
Why Gratitude Mindset is Important?
The recent studies have shown the power of having the Gratitude mindset as follows:
Physical Health – Having a grateful outlook improves the positivity of the person, which improves his overall immunity and blood circulation. That means, this person can sleep better and it lowers your existing ailments as well.
Mental Health – The person who is more grateful for everything, would carry an aura of positivity around him. So, this positivity would reduce his stress levels and keep him happy and joyful.
Healthy Relationships -The person who practices gratitude would be more trustworthy and helpful to others. The positive behaviors which stem out of the inherent gratitude would strengthen his relationships with the people around him, which will lead to success in the later stages of life.
Emotional Intelligence – The person who practices Gratitude is able to empathize with others easily. This positive outlook also improves his resilience skills. There are very limited chances of this person to turn aggressive or hostile. That means, he is improving his emotional intelligence by practicing the Gratitude Mindset.
Success in Life – when a person is stress-free and emotionally intelligent, then he would be happier with his life. He can achieve greater success in life, without being plagued by negative forces or thoughts. So, he can achieve what he wants in his life. Isn’t that wonderful?
So, in a nutshell, the people with the “Gratitude Mindset” would look at all the situations from a positive and happier point of view. So that way, they wouldn’t be getting under any negative influences. This makes them lead their life with full of hope and positivity.
What is the right age to teach Gratitude to Kids?
Some parents might think that Gratitude is a tough concept to explain to younger kids, and hence refrain from teaching it. But aren’t we teaching them to say “Thank you” or “Please” from the moment they start speaking words? So, in a similar way, we can start teaching the “Gratitude Mindset” also at the tender age itself. The only thing we need to remember at this point in time is that this concept needs to be taught in a playful way, using a lot of different fun-filled activities. Once the child is exposed to this kind of activity at an early age will be able to grasp the concepts of gratitude more easily when compared to the others who are not exposed.
So, to teach gratitude to kids, we need a lot of patience and time. Of course, we need to be their role models in leading a grateful life. Kids learn the basics of this attitude from us only and only if we practice it, then only they would be able to relate to and practice it.
Tips to inculcate Gratitude in Kids
Establish a Gratitude ritual at home: Talk about the things they are grateful for during that day or week. Make sure that everyone in the house participates in this ritual. It need not be a big verbal discussion. Just saying a one-line prayer before every meal is also sufficient. More of this kind of practice will teach the kids to be grateful automatically, without us stressing multiple times.
Model Gratitude: Remember that the kids do watch us and unless we practice this gratitude mindset completely, we can not teach our children.
Let the Child help you around: This helps in two ways, it will teach him the importance of hard work as well as understand the reasons as to why he should be grateful for the amenities, luxuries which he has in life.
Delay the Gratification: Let the child wait for his gift or a treat. Sometimes waiting for the long-cherished gift is sweeter than the real gift itself. So let your child experience that fun. Also, resist the urge to shower them with multiple gifts at the same time.
Encourage them to give back: Teach the importance of giving back to all the friends and relatives either in the form of the art/craft works they do or else by spending time with them. That way, they would be able to appreciate other people as individuals and would start respecting their needs properly.
There are a lot of activities that different people use like gratitude jars, journals to keep track of the things they are grateful for. We can use those different methods/activities also while teaching the “Gratitude Mindset” to our kids.